Throw-back Sunday: Ranking the top 5 heart-breaking moments from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

It’s Throw-Back Sunday TV Fans!  For today, I have once again returned to one of my old favorites, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  There’s something to be said about moments in television that can bring you to tears.  You invest a lot of time into the shows you watch and connect with the characters on a profound level, which is what makes it so impossibly emotional when certain moments happen, shattering the calm and happy existence you have come to know and rely on.  Whether it is one of your favorite characters dying, an epic romance coming to end, or something else entirely, there are certain heart-breaking moments on television that still impact us today.  After many re-watches of Buffy, there are still certain moments that I recognize.  I find my heart starting to skip faster, anticipating the worst, even hoping that somehow the outcome might be different with a re-watch.  However, the tragedy replays as it did the first time watching, still bringing tears to our eyes and tugging at our own feelings in the process.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the full series yet.  My top 5 heart-breaking moments from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are:

5

Giles’s discovery of Jenny’s death. 

In season 2, Angel loses his soul when he experiences true happiness with Buffy.  When he returns to his former monstrous self, Angelus, he stalks and torments Buffy and her friends.  It is not enough to simply kill them.  He wants them to truly suffer, weakening them further in the process.  Fans loved the blossoming romance between Giles and Jenny Calendar.  When Angelus learns that Jenny is on the verge of finding out how to bring the curse back along with his soul, he views her as a threat in the episode, “Passion.”  He hunts her down in the school and snaps her neck, which was horrific enough for viewers.  However, Angelus doesn’t stop here.  Rather, he stages a romantic evening for Giles to walk into.  Giles approaches his doorway with a rose waiting for him and happily walks into opera music playing along with champagne and a note reading, “Upstairs.”  To Giles’s horror, he finds Jenny’s lifeless body waiting in his bed, dropping the champagne bottle and shattering it, while the opera music crescendos louder and louder.  What makes this moment truly tragic is Giles’s reaction to it.  Giles and Jenny were finally going to be reunited and make things work, but Angelus viciously ripped this happiness away from him, toying with his emotions.

4

Tara’s death. 

In season 6, Warren is not about to let Buffy and the gang make a fool of him.  A once harmless villain has now become deadly.  He points a gun at Buffy and Xander to the surprise and horror of fans and shoots it.  Xander falls to the ground and it first appears that he is his victim, but the bullet ricochets to the upstairs window and strikes Tara right in front of Willow.  Tara’s blouse has a single blood stain on it, as she falls and collapses in Willow’s arms.  Willow’s eyes turn black in rage, now releasing the dark magic and power that she had kept away for so long.  The love between Willow and Tara was so pure and beautiful and fans were horrified to see Willow’s love taken away from her in a violent act.  The Scoobies have faced evil day after day, but what makes this so awful is that it was a mortal act of violence.  It wasn’t a vampire or a monster, rather it was a human being who felt wronged by the world and took his anger out with a man-made weapon, revealing that mortals can be just as dangerous as monsters in this world.

3

Buffy sacrifices herself to save Dawn. 

In the season 5 finale, “The Gift,” Buffy recognizes that her blood is just like Dawn’s.  Dawn’s blood is the key to closing the portal that will destroy the world, but she is not about to let her innocent sister suffer the consequences.  Buffy makes the decision to jump into the portal to sacrifice herself.  She tells Dawn that “you have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world — is to live in it. Be brave. Live…for me.”  This is one of the most powerful and heart-breaking quotes in the entire series for me.  Buffy’s unconditional love for her sister, her friends, and the world is beyond words.  She has touched the lives of so many people and helped saved innocents with each action, but there is something about this act that transcends all of that.  She recognizes the sacrifice and embraces it, leaving her friends mourning her behind.  Spike is left in tears, making this moment that much more tragic for fans, as he does truly love her and feels like he let her down.

2

Buffy kills Angel when his soul returns. 

In the season 2 finale, “Becoming,” Buffy knows what she must do and is now truly ready to defeat Angelus so that she can save the world.  She recognizes that the good man she came to know and love is gone, leaving only a shell of a monster behind.  Seems easy enough, right?  Before Buffy is about to strike the final blow, Willow’s spell works and Angel’s soul returns.  Angel doesn’t remember what has happened and Buffy tells him to close his eyes and kiss her, right before she strikes him fatally with a sword, sending his body through the portal.  Buffy is still relatively new and young as a slayer in season 2, dealing with high school drama and this is more than any teenage girl could handle.  She leaves Sunnydale behind, unable to deal with her emotions and the loss of her great love by her own hand.

1

Buffy finds her mother’s body. 

In season 5, Buffy is dealing with a new sister and a god named Glory who will stop at nothing to find her key and destroy the world.  What makes this moment truly tragic is that it is a mortal tragedy.  Buffy’s mother, Joyce, has been sick for a while, but when Buffy discovers her body lying on the floor, she becomes an innocent and terrified young girl.  Buffy whispers “Mommy,” as we empathize with her completely.  Her powers will not help her here.  She is left to attempt CPR and call an ambulance, but it is too late.  Her mother is gone and she has to deal with this loss along with realizing that she will now have to pick up the pieces of her family and grow up even faster than she already has.  This episode did not feature any background music so that viewers were able to completely focus on Buffy’s reaction and emotions throughout this heart-breaking scene, which is still incredibly difficult for me to watch.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own heart-breaking moments from Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the comments section.  Thank you so much for reading and happy viewing!

**I would love it if you would take a moment to check out my Whizbuzz Book page via the link below for everything you need to know about my new book, The Search for Alice, including my author bio page and links to my website and social media sites!  Thank you!

My Whizbuzz Book Page

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.

Want to read more?  You can click the link directly below for a free preview.  Thanks for your support!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover

 

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “Once Upon a Time” season 7 episode 9: Step-mother role reversal

As the snow begins to trickle down here in New York, I am anxious for a relaxing day of TV watching.  How about you?  After watching ABC’s Once Upon a Time season 7 episode 9 last night, I am wondering just how many sleeping curses need to occur before someone finds a way of preventing this from happening in the first place.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, we learn quite a lot about Lady Tremaine’s back-story, while Regina and Henry are still off in San Francisco.  Jacinda is thrilled to have Lucy back in her life, but lets her emotions get the best of her when she falls onto Nick’s lips.  Meanwhile, Ivy/Drizella continues to try to thwart her mother’s plan, while Rumpel reveals to Hook the reason behind his recent actions.  My top 5 moments from Once Upon a Time season 7 episode 9 are:

5

Lady Tremaine is revealed to be Rapunzel.  After we learned that Alice is Hook’s daughter, I wasn’t sure there would be any more surprises so soon, but Rapunzel’s story has been re-written quite a bit in the process.  While I was very interested to find out more about Lady Tremaine and how she came to be this way, this revelation seemed slightly forced, however.  In the Rapunzel fairy-tale, we don’t know very much about her other than that she was a baby paying for the mistakes of her parents who stole from the witch’s garden.  Her identity is stifled by her circumstances, being trapped in a tower waiting for someone to rescue her.  I did enjoy the twist of Rapunzel taking matters into her own hands to save herself, rather than waiting for a prince to appear to save the day.  I am just not so sure that this connection between Lady Tremaine and Rapunzel is that convincing but I’m willing to keep an open mind.

4

Lady Tremaine makes a deal with Rumpel.  Lady Tremaine lays all of her cards on the table and seeks out assistance from our favorite schemer, Rumpel.  Rumpel doesn’t bother keeping up with appearances here, calling Lady Tremaine out as “Rapunzel” and agreeing to help her with Anastasia because Lady Tremaine has information on the guardian.  We know that Rumpel is focused completely on finding his way back to Belle and the guardian is the key, but at what cost?

3

Hook does some investigating.  Hook is tired of getting the run around and takes matters into his own hands to find out the truth.  He shows off some Nancy Drew-like skills when he pulls the fire alarm so that the locked door will open.  Hook finds files that Rumpel has on everyone, pulling at his curiosity even further.  When he confronts Rumpel to get to the bottom of this, Rumpel reveals that everything he is doing is to try and find his wife.  Hook empathizes with this and puts differences aside to help him find Lucy but to no avail.

2

Step-mother role reversal.  While I was slightly disappointed that Lady Tremaine was Rapunzel, I thought it was very clever to switch up the roles to have Ella’s mother be the other woman stepping into her family’s lives to replace her.  Traditionally, Lady Tremaine has always been very jealous of Cinderella because she had her father’s love and in this version, this jealousy is still very present but stemming from something else.  Rapunzel gives into revenge and temptation and does send Ella’s mother away with black magic, but her husband still cares very much for his wife’s daughter, Ella.  When Ella and Anastasia are playing on the ice, it tragically breaks and her husband can only save one.  To Rapunzel’s horror, he saves Ella, but she is not to give up just yet.  She tricks Gothel and promises Anastasia that she will find a way to be with her again.  While Rapunzel makes it clear how important family is, this idea becomes distorted when she puts her family above the well-being of others and the greater good, refusing to apologize for it.

1

Lady Tremaine destroys Lucy’s innocence to free Anastasia.  Lucy is thrilled to be reunited with her mother and when Lady Tremaine gives her back her fairy-tale book, it appears that she is trying to make amends.  However, she demonstrates her wickedness by showing Lucy the video of Jacinda and Nick kissing, destroying Lucy’s idea of a perfect family with her, Jacinda, and Henry.  Lucy’s belief is shattered at this point, leaving her questioning everything.  When a tear is released, this is the key to waking up Anastasia.  However, once Anastasia wakes up, Lucy immediately falls asleep taking her place.  Hopefully it’s up to Regina, Henry, and Zelena to return and save the day.  But are they are a match for the ruthlessness of Lady Tremaine? 

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Once Upon a Time below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Ranking the top 5 moments from “Supernatural” season 13 episode 9: Dream-walking out of this world

Happy Friday TV fans! The weekend is almost here, but I find myself needing to discuss the mid-season finale of Supernatural before diving into any other shows.  After watching the CW’s Supernatural season 13 episode 9 last night, I am wondering exactly where everyone is and I am most concerned for the Winchester brothers.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, Sam and Dean are reunited with Jack, realizing that he is good after all.  Dream-walkers are introduced into the mix and some familiar friends return to warn us that something wicked comes this way.  Meanwhile, the angels are after Jack and will stop at nothing to capture him, but this doesn’t stop him from attending an addiction meeting along the way.  My top 5 moments from Supernatural season 13 episode 9 are:

5

Jack attends an addiction anonymous meeting.  He is there to find the dream-walker, but he needs to take a page from Sam and Dean’s book on how to come up with a convincing cover story.  Kaia is a young dream-walker who is suffering from a drug addiction as she desperately attempts to escape “the bad place.”  When she crosses paths with Jack, she asks why he is there and he enthusiastically responds with “cocaine!” Kaia later refers to him as “cocaine boy” which keeps the laughs coming, as she is no fool and realizes that he is absolutely something other-worldly.

4

Patience is back.  I was thrilled at the introduction of psychic, Patience a few episodes back and was wondering if we would see her again.  Luckily for the Winchester brothers, Patience has a vision and realizes that they are all in serious trouble.  She makes a difficult choice when her father tells her she cannot come back if she decides to go down this route.  Patience remains strong and realizes that she must embrace her destiny because it is the right thing to do.  She knocks on Jody’s door to tell her that they are all in great danger, leaving fans trapped in a cliff-hanger that we are all anxiously waiting to see unravel.  Either way, it is great to see Patience back and I am looking forward to the development of her character.

3

Jack is able to see Sam and Dean’s mother.  While viewers have been able to see what is going on with Mary, Sam and Dean have been completely clueless regarding her well-being, fearing the worst.  When Jack taps into the power of the dream-walkers, he is able to get close enough to see her through a door to another world.  It is clear that Mary is in desperate need of rescuing, but now that Jack is there, how are they going to escape?

2

Jack tells Sam and Dean that they are his family.  When Sam and Dean are riding in the car with Jack they express how worried they were that he would be looking for his father, Lucifer.  This word strikes a confused look on Jack’s face as he explains that Sam, Dean, and Castiel are his family and that is why he was trying to do one good thing for them and find their mother.  Although Jack is still very new to this world and his powers are alarmingly strong and dangerous, he possesses a child-like vulnerability and clearly does understand what family means, warming the hearts of us viewers in this touching moment.

1

Kaia and Jack send everyone through the open doors of worlds via dream-walking.  While we know that Jack is in Mary’s world, Sam and Dean are somewhere else entirely, waking up inside an enormous foot-print of something otherworldly.  Is this the danger that Patience predicted in her vision?  Is this the “bad place” that Kaia feared? How will they get out of there and find one another? The mid-season finale leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions, but if there is one thing I’m certain of, it’s that Sam and Dean Winchester can escape the inescapable.  It’s just a matter of how and when.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Supernatural below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Ranking the top 5 moments from “Riverdale” season 2 episode 8: “It’s a Mad World”

Happy Thursday TV fans!  After watching the CW’s Riverdale season 2 episode 8 last night, I am left with the haunting melody of “Mad World,” playing in my head, wondering if the passionate and intense feelings of Archie and Veronica are enough to overcome dodging those three powerful words that have now ripped through their bond.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, Betty lets her pony-tail down and embraces her naughty side to try and fit into Jughead’s world, Archie and Veronica take a turn at playing detective, and FP contemplates retirement from the Serpents.  Seeing FP waiting on Cheryl Blossom at Pop’s diner puts things into perspective, however; as this is no place for a king.  Meanwhile, Cheryl continues to cling to Josie’s shadow while Alice Cooper breaks out of her cardigans to bring on the leather, and Archie gazes out his window at an unsuspecting Betty to wonder what could have or might still be.  My top 5 moments from Riverdale season 2 episode 8 are:

5

A connection is confirmed between the Riverdale Reaper and the Black Hood.  In the beginning of the episode, Jughead sits down with Betty to discuss his research done at city hall.  They learn about the “house of horrors” and the tragedy that happened to the Conway family, begging the question, how does this fit in with the Black hood now?  Betty makes the connection that this house is the same one that the Black Hood lured her to, realizing that it is an important part of the equation.  Research does pay off, but what’s the next step from here?

4

FP is released from jail.  Jughead is ecstatic to learn that his father is finally free from this nightmare and anxiously awaits his release with supportive Betty and who else but the witty Alice Cooper. Alice is not about to let things slide, however; continuing to pass her judgment on FP.  She asks him what his plans are now and FP jokingly calls her “Warden Cooper,” which doesn’t seem too far off for our tough cookie, Alice.  Now that FP is out of jail, he is left with the important decision of what to do with his freedom.  He decides retirement is the answer and even accepts a humble job waiting tables at Pop’s diner to prove to Jughead that he is serious about turning his life around.  But how long will this last?

3

Archie and Veronica pick off where Betty left off.  “So you want us to be you guys?” Veronica asks with skepticism.  Veronica and Archie are already skating on thin ice as it is, when Archie tells her he loves her and she says nothing in return.  This brings up Veronica’s own insecurities, but the two need this distraction to find out more about the Black Hood and the connection to the Conway murders.  After some investigation of their own, they learn that the Conway family wasn’t of 4, but of 5 and that there is a third child who made it out alive.  They later discover this is none other than school custodian, Mr. Svenson, but quickly rule him out once Archie looks into his eyes and realizes he is not staring back at the Black hood.  More clues are falling right into their laps and they are hard to ignore.  Did Mr. Svenson get his justice in the past, or is there something else he is not telling us?

2

FP is here to stay and he wants Jughead out.  At the end of FP’s retirement party, he quickly announces that he is there to stay to Jughead’s dismay.  He explains to Jughead that he did the one thing he asked him not to, which was to get stuck in the middle of a drug trafficking operation.  When FP reveals that he now has to clean up this mess and that Jughead has broken his heart, it clearly destroys Jughead.  Jughead realizes that his mistake has now cost his father a chance at having a clean slate, forcing him back into a world that he may never get out of now.

1

Betty and Alice Cooper’s entrance into the party.  Both ladies have their hair down and prove they are a force to be reckoned with.  Alice’s ensemble is wild and she even pokes fun at Betty’s outfit, not realizing that she is about to strip off almost every layer to perform the Serpent dance.  Jughead is not pleased with this, begging her to stay away from him, as the mistakes he made with his father are now bleeding into his relationship with Betty.  Although the dance doesn’t have the impact Betty was hoping for, it does allow her to free her inhibitions and step out of her cookie-cutter mold of perfection.  Archie sees a new side of her when he gazes out the window and he’s not alone.  We salute you Betty!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Riverdale below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Ranking the top 5 spin-off television series of all time: Can a spin-off surpass an original?

Is it possible for a spin-off series to surpass the original?  Perhaps not in most cases, but that doesn’t mean that the spin-off can’t branch out into something entertaining and epic on its own.  Creating a spin-off series is always a gamble.  You are relying on the fans from the original series to follow the show and create a fan base with its own separate identity as well.  While many spin-off series have failed to capture this difficult standard, there have been some that are so memorable that you almost forget that there was an original series that started it all.  This really got me thinking about my own favorite spin-off series and why they stand out above the rest.  My top 5 favorite spin-off television series of all time are:

5

The Originals.  This show is a spin-off series of the CW’s successful hit, The Vampire Diaries.  Klaus Mikaelson and his family of original vampires are introduced as dangerous and worthy villains, but their history is so rich and intriguing, not leaving The Vampire Diaries much room to explore it among its own plot.  The Originals is set in New Orleans and fans were pleased to see the Mikaelson family as the center of it all, while introducing new characters as well with just as much complexity.  The Originals does not shy away from its roots and all fans know where it started, however; it takes a darker and more historical approach to vampires, allowing viewers to see the full picture of how everything started.  After years of watching both series, I came to ultimately prefer The Originals because it was fresher and explored darker elements.  Klaus, who was previously shown as a ruthless killer with no remorse, now shows a glimmer of a soul and reveals to us how he became so broken in the midst of family and romantic betrayals.

4

Melrose Place.  This show is a spin-off series of one of my all time favorites, Beverly Hills, 90210.  90210 was such a success and targeted a teenage audience who craved a drama with more depth and complication than your average soap opera.  Some fans don’t remember that the very entertaining Melrose Place was actually a spin-off of 90210.  Jake is introduced as an old friend of Dylan’s and has a fleeting romantic moment with Kelly, only to decide to ride his motorcycle off to a new town to discover a life of his own.  The opening episodes of Melrose Place even feature Kelly coming to find him to see why he had broken their relationship off, strategically hooking in viewers from 90210.  While a lot of the love triangles, betrayals, and outrageous plots seem familiar to 90210, Melrose Place did a good job of capturing an old generation of viewers as well, breaking out of the mold of a high school drama and paving the way for many more shows to come.

3

Angel.   A spin-off of the hit TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon recognized that Buffy and Angel’s story was over…or at least put on pause, leaving fans wondering where Angel would go after Buffy graduated and went off to college.  Lucky for us, Angel was not done with his destiny just yet, traveling to LA with fan-favorite, Cordelia, to help innocents along the way and even start his own business while doing so, taking on one evil lawyer at a time.  In Buffy, Angel’s back story is briefly explored, but his own show allows us to truly see and understand every aspect of his origin.  Also, Angel was not able to shine as much in Buffy since he was obviously not the center of the show.  Angel’s personality and potential were often stifled in Buffy because the focus was on more of the romantic relationship between them, rather than who Angel truly was or meant to be.  This spin-off series did have a strong following and it was lined up right after Buffy on the same night of airings, but Angel did have its own identity and voice, proving that a supporting character could become a principal hero after all.

2

Better Call Saul A spin-off of the hit series, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul is a prequel to the beloved series, focusing primarily on our favorite scheming lawyer, Saul Goodman.  This spin-off is one of the most successful ones I have watched and I adore both series.  What’s so great about the show is that it introduces important elements and characters that fans recognize from Breaking Bad, giving us a chance to further dive into how everything started in Breaking Bad.  However, this does not outshine the incredible acting by Bob Odenkirk who does an excellent job at truly embracing his character.  While fans are pleased with his wit and schemes along the way, we begin to fully learn about his past life and what lead him to the decisions he made later in Breaking Bad.  Saul demonstrates his work ethic and how much he wanted to be a lawyer and prove to his brother and girlfriend that he is capable of being a good man.  This becomes difficult to maintain later on, but it is clear that Saul’s character is deeper and more complex than anyone could have imagined on Breaking Bad, creating something unique and separate from the series it came from.

1

Xena:  Warrior Princess.  Who could forget the fabulous and beautiful Xena, played by the brilliant and gorgeous, Lucy Lawless?  While fans remember that it is a spin-off of Hercules, this series surpasses it in my opinion.  Xena paved the way for strong female leads such as Buffy, proving that a female warrior can be just as dangerous as any man.  Xena fights warriors and gods along the way, refusing to back down.  Her iconic battle cry is still memorable along with her heart-warming and controversial friendship with her side-kick, Gabrielle.  While Xena did air directly after Hercules in the lineup, fans became more excited and hooked by Xena.  I did watch both shows and have to admit that once Xena came on, all bets were off.  While the show was darker and more violent than Hercules, it was the character of Xena that drew me in.  She wasn’t just a hero; she was jaded, and searching for forgiveness.  She masked her vulnerability and weakness behind her sword, but the humanity in her provided viewers with a true connection to her character.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your thoughts and comments below along with some of your favorite spin-off television series of all time.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

“SMILF” Season 1 episode 5 ranking the top 5 moments: “Panda is Larry’s Constant”

Greetings TV Fans!  Lately, I have been binge-watching Showtime’s SMILF and I have to say that I am absolutely obsessed.  The critics say it is “raw and funny” and they are absolutely right.  The main character, Bridgette, has just the right blend of Weeds’ Nancy Botwin and Orange is the New Black’s Piper Chapman’s personality along with her own set of quirkiness.  She is learning how to be a single mother with each new day and challenge, while still trying to chase her dreams in the process.  If you have not gotten a chance to check this show out, I highly recommend it.  After watching SMILF season 1 episode 5, I have my own desire to play the day out in different parts.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In episode 5, the show opens up with “Part 1” revealing that it is father’s day.  The day plays out differently each time with 4 different parts throughout the episode.  Each part starts off with Larry’s father knocking on the door displaying his #1 Dad apparel, to be interrupted by Larry not being able to find his beloved panda stuffed animal.  The distractions get more and more extreme, involving different characters, leading up to part 4, which is actually heart-warming and truly perfect. My top 5 moments from SMILF season 1 episode 5 are:

5

Bridgette beats up the fire alarm.  In part one, Bridgette has a premonition type flash of where the panda could be, revealing that she left it over at Ally’s house.  She runs over there to enter a sea of chaos and distraction, as the family is trying to prepare everything for father’s day.  When the fire alarm goes off, Bridgette is determined to lend some assistance, as she proceeds to punch it repeatedly to be quiet.  While I’m not sure we should try this method at home, it is clear that she is channeling her own frustration over finding panda.  But she is not about to give up just yet.

4

Bridgette decides to do shrooms which “could make her a better parent.”  In Part two of the episode, Bridgette has a similar premonition flash that panda was left behind in Eliza’s room.  While she searches frantically, the two decide that doing shrooms is the best solution to remedy the situation.  Bridgette is convinced that this will absolutely help her clear her mind to find panda, only it leads to some very confusing hallucinations along the way, including Larry speaking to her in a grown man’s voice and Eliza suffocating in her excess sea of clothing.

3

Bridgette gets propositioned for a “sleep over.”  In part one after she beats up the incessant fire alarm, Bridgette is listening to Ally go on and on about “Mr. Daddy” and what to do for him for father’s day.  While it is initially revealed as background chatter, Bridgette’s attention is woken up suddenly when she is asked if she would like to have a sleep over.  Bridgette’s confusion about what this actually means leading up to a scenario where she would get pregnant again and what the trust fund would look like make this moment even more hilarious.  Unfortunately, this does not lead to the discovery of panda.

2

The panda is Larry’s “constant.”  Bridgette’s desperate need to find panda for Larry demonstrates how much she truly cares for his son.  She mirrors his own frantic cries, throwing everything around in a frenzy to try and locate Larry’s beloved panda.  At one point, she is speaking to her mom on the phone and screams out that she needs to find panda “or Larry is going to die!”  While Bridgette has been hanging on by a thread to make ends meet, her unconditional love for Larry never fails which makes her search for panda empathetic.  Larry deals with a lot of moving around; going from his mother’s house to his father’s and even to his grandma’s and the panda is the only thing that stays the same.  Bridgette is clearly also holding on to this constant for Larry, wanting to be able to provide him with stability and continuous love.

1

Panda is found along with Bridgette embracing father’s day.  Part 4 starts off the same way, with Larry’s father, Rafi at the door.  Rather than slamming the door in his face, Bridgette and Larry leave with Rafi to go celebrate the day at Tutu’s house, Bridgette’s mother.  Panda is discovered at the house and all is right with the world again.  This leaves us with a true family moment.  Even though everyone has their differences, they come together because Larry is the constant, creating an undeniable bond of happiness.  Plus, it helps that panda is there keep the peace.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and comments on SMILF below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

“Shameless” Ranking the top 5 moments from Season 8 episode 5: 50/50

Happy Monday TV fans!  As you pour that second cup of coffee, get ready for another dose of the Gallagher family antics. After watching Showtime’s Shameless season 8 episode 5 last night, I feel the need to provide Debbie with some serious parenting tips.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, Fiona learns the valuable lesson of saying please and apologizing in an unconventional way, Carl tries to think of ways to earn money so he can go back to military school, and Ian is ready to make a huge investment.  Meanwhile, Lip is contemplating what matters most in life while Kev embraces his southern identity.  Svetlana teaches us basic math skills while Frank helps others see the problems with standardized testing.   My top 5 moments from Shameless season 8 episode 5 are:

5

Kev embraces his southern roots.  “Shift change!” Kev yells, as he enters the bar dressed liked a cowboy, informing the Russian population that they must leave and make room for his fellow Americans .  This of course leaves the bar practically empty while he is informed that there is a difference between being southern and western.  V had it right when she said that her husband is transforming into a “Kentucky fried red-neck.”  Kev even insists on practicing his common southern phrases and using them in everyday conversation to V’s dismay.  Kev may be back in Chicago, but he is not leaving his new found identity behind just yet.

4

Carl’s detox program for junkies is a success.  In the beginning of the episode, Carl has the junky he caught in last week’s episode tied up in his basement as he leaves him no choice but to get clean reluctantly so that he can be free and a more productive member of society.  As if this isn’t funny enough, at the end of the episode the former junky bursts into the Gallagher home and brings in his friend or girlfriend who also needs help from Carl.  He explains that no other rehab was able to help except for Carl’s method and he has brought lots and lots of cash for the results.  Maybe Carl has another calling besides the military.  Either way he has now successfully made enough money to return to school while making a difference in the lives of others…one junky at a time.

3

Frank convinces the parents to look further into the cultural interpretation of multiple choice and the dangers of standardized testing.  When he learns that Liam has failed his exam, Frank doesn’t take this at face value.  Rather, he goes through the questions and shares some concerns of his own.  For example, “how would Liam know what a foyer is?”  There is a fill in the blank question about glue and Liam crosses out the choices to write in “sniffing” which Frank explains is not necessarily wrong in that context.  While it may seem that Frank is just making excuses, he really inspires the other parents to get involved and to take measures against the testing to ensure that each child’s success is measured fairly.

2

Lip contemplates what life is really all about.  It’s been really great to see Lip stay sober and it is clear his sponsor has had a part in this and has truly helped him.  While Lip is continuing his affair with his co-worker, he is later seen gazing over at Sierra and wanting to hold his sponsor’s baby demonstrating his own desire to truly connect with someone and start a family.  While this may be a big epiphany for Lip or perhaps something that was there all along, it gets put on pause when his sponsor cannot handle the stress of being a new dad and winds up at the corner bar.  Lip tries with every effort to help him, but he doesn’t want it and speeds off drunk to Lip’s disappointment.  Will this set Lip back or motivate him to continue to stay strong?

1

Svetlana is back and is ready to teach us basic math.  It is great to see Svetlana back in the bar, but she is immediately ready for business and explains to V that profit should be 50/50 even though there are three parties involved.  V is not about to give up so easy, but Svetlana explains that she does the majority of the work and even shows her numbers that prove she makes the majority of the money during her shift.  When V is still not ready to budge, Svetlana decides to get her to sign the contract with her terms another way…with sex of course.  V is no match for Svetlana at this point and ultimately signs the contract.  Kev’s shock about what happened combined with detailed questions is hilarious as Svetlana proudly walks out of the house holding the contract.  50/50 wins after all.  It’s great to have you back Svetlana!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and comments on Shameless below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl